COVID-19 Safety Precautions at The Toronto Centre For Medical Imaging

To ensure the safety of our patients and employees, we have initiated specific safety precautions at The Toronto Centre for Medical Imaging.

To help maintain the safety of our Clinic, we ask that all patients who meet the following criteria, rebook their appointment immediately:

  • Have tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
    OR
  • Have a cough or cold/flu-like symptoms
    OR
  • Have traveled outside the country within the last 14 days

Appointments can be rescheduled by calling our Clinic at 416 368 8488.

At the Toronto Centre for Medical Imaging we will have a sign posted outside our clinic, reiterating the above conditions. We ask that all clinic visitors read the signage and adhere to the guidelines.

Traditionally, we would provide any patients who have a cough or cold/flu symptoms with a mask for their appointment. However, since COVID-19 is spreading so rapidly, we are now temporarily restricting access to our clinic staff and only imaging asymptomatic patients who meet our guidelines stated above. This helps keep a clean work environment for everyone inside our facility.

Please note, if you are not symptomatic, we will not give you a mask.

One standard that will not change is our dedication to patient care. We will continue to work with our patients, referring physicians, and fellow employees throughout this challenging time.

Preparedness at the Toronto Centre for Medical Imaging for the “New Normal” Post COVID-19 World

As part of our commitment to serving the patients and referring physicians in the downtown Toronto area, we have remained opened during the acute phase of the COVID-19 shutdown in Ontario under the provisions of “Essential Services” as stipulated by the government. We have been providing non-elective urgent services to our patients during this time practising all the prescribed social distancing measures to the best given the nature of some of our examinations, fortunately, without any incident.

As the province emerges from this shut down, we expect to see more patients in the coming weeks and months with urgent and elective medical imaging needs. We are truly fortunate to have a spacious clinic, making social distancing a little “easier”. However, all of us, our clinic staff and our patients will need to do our part to keep us all safe by continuing to follow the guidelines from the Provincial and City Health Officer.

Financially, this has been a trying time for a lot of us and will continue to be so until we have COVID-19 under control with a vaccine or effective treatment. Outlined below are steps we have taken and are taking to keep you safe. A lot of these actions require additional funds at a time when these same funds are in short supply. We would, therefore, urge our patients to help us help you by following the suggestions for patients we have outlined below.

Given the nature of the medical imaging examinations that we offer at this facility, “social distancing” as we have come to understand it, may be difficult since the technologist may need to be physically closer than the prescribed 6 feet distance. However, we now have more than 2 months experience of navigating this constraint during the height of COVID-19 crisis without any issues. We do not anticipate any issues as these restrictions are relaxed in the months ahead.

Steps We Have Taken to Keep Us All Safe

1.

When you call for your appointment, the telephone operator will ask you a few questions to make sure that you do not have symptoms of a COVID-19 infection or at risk for developing an infection because of a recent contact with an individual with this infection.

What you can do to help

Answer the questions truthfully and be patient with the telephone operator.

2.

When you come for your appointment, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire with the same questions to make sure that you have not acquired an infection since you called to make your appointment.

What you can do to help

Please come for your appointment with a face mask. Please leave any unnecessary personal items in the car or at the office. Answer the questions truthfully and be patient with the receptionist. Bring your own pen, if possible. Please do not bring any companions, friends, or children with you to the appointment as social distancing becomes harder with more people in the clinic. All non-patients will be asked to wait in the lobby of the building or elsewhere. For our obstetric patients, we realize that it is especially important for you to have your spouse or partner with you in the room during your study. Your spouse or partner can be with you in the room if he/she maintains social distancing and does not disturb the technologist while the study is being performed.

3.

Our appointment times have been adjusted so that, if all patients come on time, there will be minimal overlap. For most appointments, the patient before you will have left the clinic before you arrive at the clinic. This means that there will be minimal to no waiting for you when you come for your appointment. This, of course, increases our cost.

What you can do to help

Please arrive for your appointment on time. If you are late for your appointment, your study may not be completed before the next patient arrives or may need to be rescheduled, hence defeating our goal of social distancing. If you need to cancel, please provide us with at least 24 hours notice, so we can give that appointment slot to another patient and reschedule your appointment at a new time that is convenient for you.

4.

The receptionist will be at her usual desk with a surgical mask. There will be a clear plastic shield separating the patient from the receptionist, like what is now a familiar site at most “retail/customer service” organizations in this province.

What you can do to help

Keep your time at the reception desk to a minimum, if possible.

5.

You will be given our usual wrap around cloth (not paper) gown to change into, if necessary. Our patients have always appreciated the design of these gowns for the privacy they provide.

What you can do to help

Change into the gown as quickly as possible, use the sanitizer in the waiting area to clean your hands and take a seat in the “waiting” area (waiting time was always kept to a minimum – usually just a few minutes – before this crisis, and will be even lower now).

6.

We have purchased new chairs, that are easier to disinfect, for our waiting area so that you will always be sitting in a chair that has been cleaned after the last patient, before you can use it. Our waiting area is large enough that we can accommodate patients with social distancing. Although given our new appointment format, you will probably not be spending too much time in this area.

What you can do to help

Take a seat in a chair without a plastic sign indicating that it needs to be cleaned.

7.

You will be taken into an examining room by a technologist, who will be wearing at least a surgical mask with or without a face shield. The examination bed or table that you will be using will have been thoroughly cleaned based on guidelines from the Provincial Health Officer after the last patient before you.

What you can do to help

Be rest assured that we have done everything possible to keep you safe. As much as possible, try to co-operate with the technologist so that he or she may complete your study as thoroughly and as quickly as possible.

8.

Once your study is complete, change into your street clothes as quickly as possible, clean your hands with the sanitizer provided and exit the clinic from whence you entered. A copy of your report will be sent to your physician within 24 hours.

What you can do to help

Be rest assured that we have done everything possible to keep you safe. As much as possible, try to co-operate with the technologist so that he or she may complete your study as thoroughly and as quickly as possible.

Having Symptoms?

If you have symptoms of the common cold, influenza, COVID-19, or other infectious respiratory disease you must reschedule your appointment. Call 416 368 8488 to cancel and reschedule your appointment.

Please also visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/index.html for more information on how this Province is responding to the crisis and what you can do to help prevent the spread of this infection.

COVID-19 FAQs

Provided by Public health & the World Health Organization

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that may cause respiratory illness in people ranging from the common cold to more severe pneumonias. These viruses are zoonotic and can be transmitted between animals and humans.
COVID-19 is the new strain of the coronavirus not previously identified in humans. The outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

Symptoms for COVID-19 are similar to those for influenza or other respiratory illnesses. The most common symptoms include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • extreme tiredness
  • Most people (about 80%) recover from this disease without needing special treatment. However, it can cause serious illness. Those who are older, and those with other medical problems are more likely to develop serious illness, which can include difficulty breathing or pneumonia. There is a risk of death in severe cases. While we are still learning about how COVID-19 affects people, older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes) appear to develop serious illness more often than others.
COVID-19 is believed to be spread mainly by coughing, sneezing or direct contact with a sick person or with surfaces they have recently touched.
Only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19. Disposable face masks can only be used once. If you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill then you are wasting a mask. There is a world-wide shortage of masks, so WHO urges people to use masks wisely. WHO advises the rational use of medical masks to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious resources and misuse of masks. The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue and maintain a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing.

People who develop a fever and/or cough or difficulty breathing should be assessed for COVID-19 if, within 14 days before symptoms began, they meet any of the following criteria:

  • Traveled anywhere outside of Canada.
  • Had close contact* with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19.
  • Had laboratory exposure to biological material (e.g. primary clinical specimens, virus culture isolates) known to contain COVID-19 virus.
  • Had close contact* with a person with acute respiratory illness who has traveled anywhere outside of Canada within the last 14 days before their illness.

Anyone meeting these criteria should avoid contact with others and call Public Health for advice.

*Close Contact* is defined as a person who:

  • Provided care for the individual, including healthcare workers, family members or other caregivers, or who had other similar close physical contact with the person without consistent and appropriate use of personal protective equipment
  • Lived with or otherwise had prolonged close contact (within 2 meters) with the person while the person was infectious
  • Had direct contact with infectious bodily fluids of the person (e.g. was coughed or sneezed on) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment.

Stay home and call Public Health for advice. If you are not seriously ill, do not go to a physician’s office, a health care facility or a lab without consulting with Public Health first. Call 911 if you are seriously ill and need immediate medical attention and inform them that you may have COVID-19

Self-isolation means avoiding situations where you could infect other people. This means all situations where you may come in contact with others, such as social gatherings, work, school, child care, athletic events, university, faith-based gatherings, healthcare facilities, grocery stores, restaurants, shopping malls, and all public gatherings.

  • You should (where possible) not use public transportation, including buses, taxis, or ride-sharing.
  • As much as possible, you should limit contact with people other than the family members/companions who you traveled with.
  • You should avoid having visitors to your home, but it is okay for friends, family, or delivery drivers to drop off food.
  • You can also use delivery or pick up services for errands such as grocery shopping.
  • Avoid sharing household items such as dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, pillows, or other items with other people in your home. After using these items, you should wash them thoroughly with soap and water, place in the dishwasher for cleaning, or wash in the washing machine.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water and regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched and shared surfaces such as doorknobs and counters.
    If you need to leave your home for an urgent errand, such as picking up essential medication, as a precaution to reduce the risk of spread, you should wear a surgical mask while you are out.
  • During this time, it is important that you monitor your health for symptoms like fever or cough and call Health Link 811 if you have any concerns.

Although there are no specific medications for COVID-19 at this time, the Alberta health care system is able to provide effective care for people who develop a serious COVID-19 illness.

Not yet. Much research is currently underway to develop a vaccine, but it could take some time before a vaccine is developed and approved for use in Canada.

No. Antibiotics do not work against viruses; they only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. Antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of COVID-19. They should only be used as directed by a physician to treat a bacterial infection.
Although most people who develop COVID-19 will experience mild illness, some individuals are more likely to become seriously ill. Older adults and people with medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease appear to be at higher risk of becoming very sick.